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Sal begins to tell us her story about the road trip she took with her grandparents.
But first we learn about her move to Euclid, Ohio, which was pretty much the worst.
On her road trip with her grandparents, she tells them a story about her life in Euclid.
She meets Phoebe Winterbottom, Ben Finney, Mary-Lou Finney, Mr. Birkway and others at school, and befriends Phoebe Winterbottom in particular.
One day, a "lunatic" teenage boy comes to Phoebe's door. He is looking for Mrs. Winterbottom. It's all very strange.
Meanwhile, Sal's having some equally strange encounters with Ben Finney. At one point, he even kisses her on the collarbone. Oh, and her ear. Say what?
Mrs. Winterbottom goes missing, and Sal helps Phoebe search for her. They follow all kinds of clues, at one point even sneaking into Mrs. Cadaver's house. Eventually, Sal learns that the lunatic is Sergeant Bickle's son.
Sal does a little amateur sleuthing and tracks down the lunatic's location at a local college. She and Phoebe spy on him there and see Mrs. Winterbottom with him.
Horrified, Sal runs away, where she encounters Ben at nearby hospital. They have a real kiss. Yay!
Later, Sal witnesses Mrs. Winterbottom's dramatic homecoming, soon after which she takes off on a road trip with her grandparents.
On the road trip, they get into all kinds of adventures: they dip their toes in Lake Michigan, they spend the night on the outskirts of Chicago, they go swimming in a river on the Minnesota-South Dakota border, they take Gram to the hospital after she gets bitten by a water moccasin, they visit Pipestone National Park, the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, and Yellowstone Park.
Finally, they drive to Coeur d'Alene where they take Gram to the hospital again.
But the road trip's mysterious deadline is approaching, so Sal drives her grandfather's car all by herself to the site of the bus crash where her mother died.
Two police officers find Phoebe and take her to her mother's grave by the Snake River in Lewiston. Then the sheriff drives her back to the hospital in Coeur d'Alene, where she learns that Gram Hiddle has died.
She and her grandfather return to Bybanks, and she and her dad move back to Bybanks for good.
It is July, and next month Sal's friends from Euclid will come visit her.